March 28, 2012 at 10:23 am #22473
Tony C. SmithMemberApril 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm #22508
I’m a sometime lurker, relative newcomer to the world of regular internet audio fiction delivery, and first time poster. I’ve sampled a number of science fiction and horror podcasts, and trudged through one podcast novel, and just to reassure Starship Sofa seems to be pretty much the top of the heap. I’ve sampled a portion of the sofa’s standing legacy, and have found some real gems in the archive. Well done.
Before this finally falls off the freshest podcast position, I was impressed enough to register to praise the lead story, really to “encourager les autres”.
Maybe “moved” is the wrong word. I’m no big fanof military fiction, inside or outside sf, but The Johnson Maneuvre seemed to me to be a perfect storm. Not high art, but a well-executed slice of mech-based adventure, and matched by a very good reading.
Your high water mark has to be the early Michael Moorcock stories, all five-star hooks that had me coming back for more. But Sir Michael is a known and trusted quantity, and this was much more of a pleasant surprise.
I’m potentially over-influenced by the quality of audio readings, as I find the author’s voice is often buried by the personality of the reader. There’s a well-known sf podcast I had to unsubscribe because the regular presenter/reader’s priority was clearly their personal response, which clearly influenced story choice and often killed the pleasure in what may have been perfectly good stories.
So kudos to Starship Sofa, Ian Douglas, his reader (can’t see a name in the credits above), and your relationship with Baen. The publisher has clearly made great efforts to target-market the book and thanks to your efforts it’s worked here. I shall soon be a proud owner.
Is it fair to end on a downer? I often struggle with or skip the non-fiction elements around the fiction, and the first chapter experinment isn’t working for me. A short but complete piece of fiction seems a fair trade to me, good or bad, because the experience is self-contained. I can follow up as I’m inclined. I’m much less inclined to invest the time with something I won’t hear the end of if I don’t enjoy it enough to pursue the finished book.
But, all thumbs up on the main fiction this week and please more perfect storms like The Johnson Maneuver.April 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm #22551
I too liked the story in this episode; although I’m not sure it was saying anything too new, it was gripping enough, and made me interested enough to look up the incident that inspired it, which is pretty much as described in the story.
April 11, 2012 at 6:15 pm #22566
The lead story was interesting, though I had a hard time with how profoundly dim Earth’s representative was. Generally diplomats are pretty smart individuals.
Really liked the novel promo. Great way to end it – that’s a good hook, hehe.April 12, 2012 at 11:43 am #22568
Very much the stereotype of American MilSF. Only soldiers have any common sense. Civilians are always idiots. Some soliders will be idiots as well, but the protagonist will always be right.
British versions are a little more likely to have soliders acheiving greatness by blundering through.
It was a decent story though, within the confines of the genre, and well read. Scott did a damn fine job with the alien names. And I hadn’t realised that this Ian Douglass guy was actually the Bill Keith who used to write Traveller roleplaying games.May 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm #22686
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